Rearranging Video Tracks (in various NLEs)

The ability to rearrange the order of video and audio (etc.) tracks in an editing-project in a Non-Linear Editing project.

It’s one of those basic things I assumed all NLEs would allow.  But not so.  Some have workarounds involving the creation of new Sequences and pasting in contents from original Sequences, in which case why haven’t they simply automated that workaround?  Bizarre!


  • In the following, just drag the relevant track up/down to required position (relative to other tracks):
    • Sony Vegas, Adobe After Effects (AE)
    • {Uncertain about Avid – maybe Control-drag works – but see further below}
  • Not so straightforward in the following:
    • Adobe Premiere
    • Avid (Media Composer, Symphony etc.), at least as of 2007,
        • Larry Rubin: <<Create a new sequence with the same number of tracks, mark the entire original sequence, load it in the source monitor and PATCH the channels between the source column and the sequence column in the order you want. Just click onto a source track selector and drag an arrow to the desired position in the sequence and once you’ve re-ordered everything, just edit it in.>>
        •  sean90291: <<Ctrl+dragging a track moves it up or down as well, but the problem is it doesn’t change the “render order” (that is, if you drag V2 down below V1 and then try to use a key effect on the tracks, your foreground will still be the ORIGINAL V2 track, even though it’s now on a lower level–after Ctrl+dragging–than the original V1. You can even re-name the tracks (right clicking), to make the new lower track V1 and the higher one V2, but Avid remembers internally that the lower track is a V2 track and your key effect will not work properly.>>
          • {Esp: But when I tried this just now [2012-08-13] in [Symphony 6] with two video tracks, it did appear to work OK, I just had to remember to move the “Use tracks up as high as here” icon/selector/radiobutton upwards following the rearrangement, since otherwise it stayed with whatever track it was on to start with.  Too early to be sure if this works exactly as I expect, e.g. is that what actually gets rendered (need to experiment more) but it is promising.}
        • Butcher: <<
          • One thing that may help you–Ctrl+Y adds a video track.  Alt+Ctrl+Y will let you choose which video track to add.  This is nice if you want V1 to be above V2.  Alt+Ctrl+Y, choose V2–it will tell you it already exists.  Add it anyway and you can “Insert” a new V2 track, moving everything upon V2 and above up a track.  Now Left to Right lasso everything on V1 and it will select all the clips and put you into segment mode.  Move them up one track.  Lasso everything on V2, move them to V1.  They’re now swapped.
          • Also, to use Larry’s suggestion but keep it all in one sequence–Mark In/Outs and select the tracks you want to swap, hit Alt+C to copy them to the the source monitor, repatch and cut it right back into your sequence.  Voila, your tracks are swapped.
          • It’s safter to do what Larry suggested, though–making a new sequence, in case you need to go back to the original, but I thought I’d share a few other ways.
        • >>

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